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Digital Camera Tips: Getting the Right Digital Camera.

#2-What MUST Know To Get The Right Digital Camera

Here's your 2nd lesson of "What You MUST Know To Get The Right Digital Camera!" It comes from the "Master Your Digital Camera" website:

Because these tips are critical to your getting the right
digital camera, I want you to keep every one of these lessons in a safe place.

So, no matter which email program you use - Outlook, Eudora, Netscape, Pegasus, Hotmail, Mozilla or any other - why not create
a new email folder right now.

Here's how to title this new email folder:

"!Digital Camera Info"
Then, every time you get a tip, put it into that folder after you read it. It should be at the top of your "Email Folders."
That way, you don't have to worry about missing any of these useful tips.

Now, let's get started with lesson 2:

Digital Camera Comparison

When deciding which digital camera to buy, it's important to first do a thorough digital camera comparison. You need to know what types of digital cameras there are, their features... and how much they cost before you purchase. Then there are practical considerations such as whether the digital
camera you're considering is really as easy to use as it
seems. We'll be talking about all those things in these lessons. Let's start with ease of use...

How Easy Is A Digital Camera To Use?

That depends on the camera.
In any digital camera comparison, the camera model makes a big difference. A point and shoot is very easy to use. But if you buy a more complicated camera, such as a Prosumer (nearly professional) or Pro SLR (single lens reflex) model, there's definitely a steep learning curve.

Luckily, there are many types of digital cameras on the market today. You can get anything from a entry-level, all-automatic, point-and-shoot models — to totally manual, very complex professional-level cameras (SLR), and just about anything in

Point-and-shoot digital cameras don't require adjusting any settings or white balance. It's taken care of automatically. All you have to do is pick up the camera, point it at your subject and press the button. Done.

However, that limits how much you can do with the camera, since point-and-shoot cameras are very basic. For more interesting pictures, you need more features. While it does take a little time to learn how and when to use each added feature, it's well worth it. It's not necessarily hard, it just takes a little time because it's different than a film

One of the biggest questions on people's minds when they begin comparing digital cameras is, "What type of digital camera do I need and how much will it cost?"

There's a tremendous selection of digital cameras on the market today. It's easy to find one (or several) that have all the features you want. Let's take a look at what is available:

A basic point-and-shoot model runs about $100 to $200 and is equivalent to a simple film camera. It usually has 1 to 2-megapixels, built-in flash, some type of removable storage like a flash memory card, and either a fixed focal length (which means you can't take pictures too close or too far) or maybe a little bit of zoom.

The other extreme is a Pro SLR, which can have 6 to 14-megapixals and all kinds of features, settings, lenses, and attachments. These cost from one to several thousand... and require a few photography courses to learn to use! But the really tough part with most Pro SLR cameras is that you must adjust ALL the settings. That means you have to set the white
balance, exposure, aperture, shutter speed, focus, ISO, metering and many other things (depending on the camera) — all manually before every shot. Most Pro cameras don't have automatic options.

Obviously, you really have to know what you're doing to get good results. If just one setting is off, the picture is likely to be ruined!

But don't worry, there are hundreds of models to choose from in between — cameras that have the features most people want, like higher resolutions and longer zoom lenses, but are still easy to use. These cameras have a wide price range, and many
are very affordable:

Digital Camera Comparison — Types of Cameras:

There have been so many new innovations and new types of digital cameras introduced lately that there are no clear lines delineating types of digital cameras anymore. Roughly, digital cameras fall into three main categories:

- Amateur: This is the most popular group of digital cameras. They are considered the consumer models. They range from easy-to-use, point-and-shoot cameras to more sophisticated models
that have larger zoom ranges and some advanced controls. Some have multiple scene modes and manual controls. Resolution is generally 3 to 5 megapixels. Some in this range come with
"docks" that recharge batteries and download pictures
automatically. Prices for these mid-range cameras fall between the $300 to $500 range.

- Pro-Am (professional-amateur): This group of advanced consumer models provide more features, more megapixels and more extras than point-and-shoot models — such as add-on accessories, customizable settings, more zoom, optional
exposure modes, etc. They come in many shapes and sizes (tiny pocket models to standard size) and range from $400 to $600.

Some are Prosumer models — just a notch below totally professional cameras. In many ways, they're the best of both worlds — you get most (or all) of the fancy features, the higher resolution and the higher quality of pro models, but you can get them automatically (like you can with a point-and-
shoot), or choose manual settings. They're around $700 and up.

The most popular are the 8 megapixel advanced compact consumer cameras from Canon, Konica, Minolta, Nikon, Olympus and Sony. These cameras fit more into their sensors than their
predecessors, they use ED glass (formerly reserved for high-end telephoto lenses), have virtually no lag time, longer battery life, faster and better autofocus, wide-angle lenses,noise reduction, image stabilization and much more. They are essentially lightweight versions of professional digital SLR cameras.

- Digital SLR. These models are for professional photographers who don't mind spending one to several thousand dollars. They offer durability, speed, manual controls, and tremendous optical flexibility (you can get a lens to fit any shooting need). Resolutions are generally 6 megapixels and up, with
advanced features like image histograms and the latest lenses, sensors and image-processing technology.

An important consideration in any digital camera comparison is your current level of expertise and whether you have the time and inclination to learn more. If you're a pro or an advanced amateur photographer, adjusting the settings manually is
exactly what you want to do because you can get some great effects and unusual shots. Even though Pro or Prosumer cameras are more complicated than point-and-shoot models, once you know what you're doing, it can actually turn out to be easy.

If you're an intermediate, having some of the same features advanced models have, but with automatic options gives you more to work with than a simple point-and-shoot. If you want to step into digital photography via the easiest route possible, a basic point-and-shoot is for you.

You may find that once you get used to digital cameras, you're going to want some of the special features and extra options the Intermediate or Advanced consumer models have. You'll see
that digital photography is so much fun when you can be more creative. The question boils down to whether or not you're willing to learn how to operate a more complicated camera.

The features and settings on most Intermediate, Advanced consumer and Prosumer models and what they do are more fully explained and discussed in my ebook, "Master Your Digital Camera in Four Easy Steps:"

But the type of camera isn't the only thing to consider in a digital camera comparison. The different ways of recording and storing pictures also need to be considered.

Digital cameras don't use film like conventional cameras. They use flash memory cards — a form of "digital film."Knowing how large a memory card you need and how many pictures you can put on a memory card requires understanding three
important factors about digital camera memory. Stay tuned for
lesson 3...

In the meantime, be sure to sign up for the Digicam
Newsletter. You'll get news about new cameras and
accessories on the market, reviews, and tips, without
charge. Just send a blank email to:

Rufina James

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